Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Book Review: The Regulators

Title: The Regulators
Author: Stephen King
Rating: 5/5
Genre: Horror, Fantasy (Supernatural)
Publication Date: 1996

Story Notion: What the hell...? But - ew. and - what?

Plot: (from GoodReads) I'd suggest NOT reading this!!
An evil creature called Tak uses the imagination of an autistic boy to shift a residential street in small-town Ohio into a world so bizarre and brutal that only a child could think it up. It's as two-dimensional and gaudy as a kid's comic book, but for this reviewer, The Regulators is a gripping adventure tale about what happens when a mind fixated on TV (especially old Westerns and a cartoon called MotoKops 2200) runs amok.

This book. I don't even remember what made me start reading this book, I was just craving something to read and it was on my iPad and... I started reading it. And had my mind thoroughly screwed by the end of it. This was far from my first King book, but they still tend to leave me going 'what the hell just happened?' This one, of course, was no different.

It starts off on this nice street, friendly neighbors, hot summer day, fun all around. And there's this kind of sense of dread you feel, because you know it's not going to stay like that for long. Something's going to happen. And you can also assume, being a King book, a lot of those people aren't what they seem. I, personally, didn't read the plot before starting it - and so this was an adventure. And I like doing that, with certain books but especially by King, not reading the synposis, just diving in.

This book was amazing. It jumped perspectives, off course, and I always love finally starting to figure out what the hell is happening. However, I can't even look at Spagetti-O's or chocolate milk without gagging, not that that's really a bad thing as I cared for both little before, but - whew, some of those descriptions. Anyway, the writing and description is fantastic, as I always find with his writing. I know a lot of people think he's too wordy, but I love it, it sucks me in and I can picture it perfectly.

Overall, it's... a Stephen King book. Fantastic, horror, suspense, thriller. Awesome characters that are all well fleshed out and three dimensional and have back stories and you feel like they could of been living there ever day for years and years before this book took place. I love the plots of King's books, of course, but my favorite will always be the characters and how in-depth they are and how they just feel like people.

A really great read. I'd recommend it to anyone that likes horror books with some fantastic characters, great descriptive writing, and some supernatural elements.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Year in Review (2013 - 1)

I've been toying with this idea since January, about having something that was full of thoughts of books that I didn't have enough thoughts of to make a full review but more then the 'it was good/bad' I put down for WWW Wednesdays, so - I thought a 'mini review' type of thing would be best. I struggled with what to call it, and thought since I want to review all of the books I've read this year, 'Year in Review' might be a nice title, and it also has exactly what I'm doing in the title.

So I've read quite a few books so far this year and I don't always have enough to say for a full review, but that doesn't mean I don't probably have something to say. So I think I've figured out a way to do this. If I wrote a full review, there will just be the book title, author, rating, and then a link to it. Hopefully I'll have review up for all the books that I want to have them up for before I catch up with myself, if not, a couple lines and a 'review to come' kind of deal. Pretty simple, hopefully easy to understand.

Ubik by Philip K. Dick (5/5)

You Have to Stop This (Secret #5) by Pseudonymous Bosch (5/5)
This is the fifth and final book in the series, and I've been toying with doing a full series review, but I'm just not sure yet. Overall: hilarious, engaging characters, good plot.

My Story by Marilyn Monroe and others (5/5)
This was certainly something to read. I've never seen anything that Marilyn Monroe did, none of her movies or anything, and it was interesting to hear what she had to say, just talking about her life to a friend who was writing it down for her. It's really amazing to read, how young she was, and how much she struggled. It's a good read, she jumps around a lot, her story telling not from point A to B, but it doesn't really jar you as much as you'd think, well it didn't me. I'd recommend it to people interested in her.

The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson (5/5)
First Sanderson novel (and technically this might be a novella) and I am hooked, give me all of what he's written. This book was beautiful and intricate  I didn't think it could be, because it's not long and only happens over a hundred days, if that. And it's just - completely amazing. The magic alone in this book, I would sell my soul to be able to write magic systems like Sanderson (well, maybe only a part of it, I like it). I wish I had enough to say to write a full review, but it would mostly just be squeeing and saying it was amazing. So, to the point: fantastic characters, original plot, realistic magic world/laws, and an overall fantastic read. I'd recommend this to probably anyone.

Marilyn: Her Life In Her Own Words (...) by George Barris (4/5)
Interesting, definitely interesting. It was good, no doubting that, but - something made me bump it down to a four but kept me from making it lower. It was odd reading it so soon after the other Marilyn one, catching the slight difference, but still what seemed to me at least to be a very true image of her, but one from a friend. A photographer.

A Study In Emerald by Neil Gaiman (5/5)
Awesome, amazing, so cool. I really want to listen to this one again, actually, or be able to read it. I've never read anything like this. it mirrors A Study In Scarlett, but it's suppose it - and it has so much original stuff, too. I don't want to give any of it away, just go and jump in. Gaiman plus Sherlock Holmes canon and... some fantasy elements, if that interests you, investigate.

The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code by Sam Kean (5/5)
I really wish I could write a full review of this one, I've been trying to since I read it, but it's just so - different and informative and kind of perfect. It doesn't info dump you and it kind of makes sure you know what's going on before jumping too far in. It has stories about the first people to discover things, why certains genes have certain names, and so much more about how genetics affect us. It's nonfiction, of course, and a truly amazing and very interesting read. I'd recommend to anyone even slightly interested in ow genetics actually work. Also, very witty, and a strong voice. (Mostly when I talk to people about this book it's just a jumble of words and vague squeeing, this is the most articulate thing I've said about it, I think, because it's just fantastic).

Robot Dreams by Sara Varon (5/5)
Amazing for a book with pretty much no words with it. This is a graphic novel and it's really, really good. It has a kind of... bittersweet ending. It'll leave you feeling a bit melancholy, but it's totally worth the read. The art is good and cute, as are the characters. Give it a chance, who doesn't love reading about cute robots right?

Naked in Death (In Death #1) by J.D. Robb
This was for a book club, but I just... love these characters. I want to do a review of book one to ten in the series. It's good, they get better, and it's not like an amazing work of fiction, definitely a guilty pleasure. Like a Law and Order episode but better and all the characters kick-ass.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Day Seven: BookTube--A--Thon and Complete Wrap-Up(Thoughts, final stats)

Number of books I've finished today: 2

The Breathing Method by Stephen King (audiobook, finished - 53 pages)
Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind (continued and finished, 583 pages)

Number of pages read today: 636

Actually ended up finishing pretty early, at about nine, but I decided that I'd read enough. I probably could of read more, definitely could of really, but - it's been a long week.


Number of Books: 15

Pages Read: 4,200

Books Finished:
Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (256 pages)
Snow White by the Grimm Brothers, Illustrated by Camille Rose Garcia (80 pages)
Throttle by Joe Hill and Stephen King (47 pages)
Prince Caspian (Chronicles of Narnia #4) by C.S. Lewis (240 pages)
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia #5) by C.S. Lewis (271 pages)
Beyond the Door by Philip K. Dick (20 pages)
Judgment in Death by J.D. Robb (356 pages)
The Silver Chair (Chronicles of Narnia #6) by C.S. Lewis (257 pages)
White Cat (Curse Workers #1)  by Holly Black (310 pages)
The Last Battle (Chronicles of Narnia #7) by C. S. Lewis (228 pages)
Kushiel's Dart (Ph├Ędre's Trilogy #1) by Jacqeuline Carey (934 pages)
Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse #1) by Charlaine Harris (304 pages)
The Breathing Method by Stephen King (53 pages)
Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth #1) by Terry Goodkind (820 pages)

Thoughts (on read-a-thon overall and challenges):
I really love read-a-thons, and this one was a lot of fun, especially because I came in it from a reading slump. I hadn't read anything since probably the first of the month, sadly, so I was glad to be able to make sure I read a bunch this week and I did, I definitely did. And I liked the added challenge, a little extra thing to add to everything.

Overall, I just thought it was great. Reading sprints, watching everyone's updates, and reading through the hashtag on Twitter was always fun. And I'm sure I'll be joining in again next year, if I can. I kind of am learning I love read-a-thons, because they get me reading way more then I'd ever be able to, because it's just fun.

Now, onto the challenges. I read more then one book to fulfill some of the challenges, so I'm just going to list the books beneath the challenges they fit, just the titles. (Challenges in italics, book titles normal).

read an average of 300 pages a day
This one I did finish, all of the books fit this, I guess, but I read over 300 pages everyday.

read a book with over 500 pages
Kushiel's Dart (934)
Wizard's First Rule (820)

re-read one book
Kushiel's Dart
Dead Until Dark
Wizard's First Rule

finish a series/trilogy
The Last Battle

read a book that's been on your shelf forever
All of the Narnia books fit this and White Cat

listen to an audiobook
The Breathing Method

read a classic
Again all of the Narnia books I read count under this one

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Day Six: BookTube--A--Thon

Number of books I've finished today: 1

Total number of books I've read: 13

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris (started and finished, reread - 304 pages)
The Name of This Books is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch (started, reread - 111 pages)
Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind (started, reread -  pages 237)

Number of pages read today: 652

Total number of pages read: 3,564

For some reason today, I was just in the retreading kind of mood. I kind of ran out of books I had lined up to read for this read-a-thon and floundered a bit before: rereads. I ended up starting with Dead Until Dark, which I haven't read in years, honestly it was kind of a let down. Then, I was going to start a reread of the Secret series and did, as you can see, and got 100 pages in before deciding it wasn't the right time.

So I settled on Wizard's First Rule, which is the first book of the Sword of Truth series. There is a TV show based of it, Legend of the Seeker, which is how I first heard of it, but I haven't been able to continue reading the series and really needed to reread the first one, Wizard's First Rule, before containing. And so here we are, this was also kind of the logic behind Kushiel's Dart, so many long, long books and so little time.

I'm hoping to finish Wizard's First rule tomorrow and even though it's 800+, I think I can. I read it in one shot the first and only time I've read it, so I'm hoping I can again.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Day Five: BookTube--A--Thon

Number of books I've finished today: 3

Total number of books I've read: 12

White Cat by Holly Black (continued and finished - 192 pages)
The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis (started and finished - 228 pages)
Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey (continued and finished - 375 pages)

Number of pages read today: 795

Total number of pages: 2,912

Completely adored White Cat and can't wait to be able to read the rest of the series (hopefully very soon). This one didn't fulfill any kind of challenge.

I did finish Kushiel's Dart today, though, no small feat as it rests at just over 900 pages, whew. But it's truly a fantastic book and it fulfilled two challenges, the read a book over 500 pages one and the reread one. And, The Last Battle, counts as finishing a series as it's the last book in the Chronicles of Narnia, wasn't the book I was originally planning on, but somehow I read four Narnia books this week.

I was going to read the last five pages of anything to get it up to 800 pages for the day but I decided against it, I was getting a headache and finishing that book pretty much exhausted me, but I'm really proud of how much I did read today. Also, on Goodreads, I reached having read 75 books for the year, which I had upped my goal up to from 50, so now it sits at 100. I'm 21 books ahead of schedule, but I'll probably end up lowering it, there's no way, I think, that I'll end up getting to 100. Was definitely my most successful reading day for this read-a-thon so far, though!

And how did your reading go today/this read-a-thon? Good? Leave me a comment and tell me what book you're currently reading.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Day Four: BookTube--A--Thon

Number of books I've finished today: 2

Total number of books I've read: 9

Judgment in Death by J.D. Robb (continued and finished- read 127 pages)
The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis (started and finished - read 257 pages)
White Cat by Holly Black (started, read to page 118)

Number of pages read today: 512

Total number of pages: 2,117

Well, I didn't get nearly as much reading today as I wanted to get done. I ended up spending some bonding time with my pet rabbit (Kitty) and then there was Comic-Con stuff going on that I got dragged into. So the day didn't quite go as planned, but I did get the at least three hundred pages read and it's not like it was a bad reading day, just - not as much as I wanted to get done (stupid Teen Wolf trailer and panel. And oh my god I can not still).

I think I'm going to up changing my 'finish the series' challenge to reading the last Narnia book. I didn't think I could read all four I needed to, to finish it, but I only have the last one left so I might as well try. I didn't end up reading really any of Kushiel's dart, but I think that's what I'm going to do tomorrow, just sit down and try and finish it, I've got like 350 pages left I think.

Ended up starting White Cat, just for something else, I guess. Got just over a hundred pages in and really interested to see what happens next, a fun, interesting word with a family of, well, they're grifters, I guess, but so much more.

So how is your reading progress going? Are you having a good read-a-thon? Getting distracted by anything (like I obviously was today)?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Day Three: BookTube--A--Thon

Number of books finished Today: 2

Total number of books I've read: 7

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis (started and finished - 271 pages read)
Beyond the Door by Philip K. Dick (started and finished - 20 pages) (short story)
Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey (continued - from page 411 to 526, 115 pages read)
Judgement in Death by J.D. Robb (continued - from page 52, 167 pages read)

Number of pages read today: 519

Total Number of Pages: 1,605

I was really aiming for finished Judgment in Death, but I just ended up deciding sleep was better. I'm much closer to being done with Kushiel's Dart, just over halfway, and that'll be good. It will complete both retread and over 500, as I've mentioned. I forgot how long and dense this book is, whew.

I don't know if I'll end up finishing the 'finish a series/trilogy' one, I'm just not in the mood for any of the possible ones. And read-a-thons to me are always about trying to just read as much as I can. I am going to try and do the audiobook one. Though, maybe cheating a but with an audiobook that is just under 3 hours, but it's Stephen King so...

Anyway, I think my read-a-thon is going well, so far. Especially because it seems like I will be able to do all of the challenges but one and, originally thinking about it, I honestly was just going to do the read 300 pages a day thing. I hope all of your reading is going well! Leave me a comment with what you are currently reading and how you like it. Also, what has been the favorite thing you've read so far this read-a-thon (even if you haven't finished it yet or whatever)?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Day Two: BookTube--A--Thon

Number of books I've finished today: 1

Total number of books I've read: 5

Prince Caspian (Chronicles of Narnia #4) y C.S. Lewis (started and finished - 240 pages)
Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey (read more -  205 pages)

Number of pages read today: 445 pages

Total number of pages: 1,086 pages

Prince Caspian was my 'on my shelf forever' book and my classic, I have other possible classics I might end up reading, too, but - I'm still counting this as one.

And Kushiel's Dart is my reread and my over 500 pages book, it's almost 1,000 pages, honestly. I probably should of picked a slightly lighter reread, not just in length but it's very heavy in the world's politics, but I'd been thinking about rereading it anyway and I'm just about halfway through it. As it's only the second day, that bodes well. And I didn't have really any distractions today, really!

Didn't end up getting as much read as I wanted to, it just felt kind of slow going and I was exhausted most of the day (did not sleep well). I'm going to try and get more done tomorrow. I'm not so much carrying about the challenges, actually, more about reading as much as I can and getting myself out of the reading slump I had been in. I do want to finish the challenges, though. I did end up writing over 6,000 words for Camp NaNoWriMo, though, so that was awesome.

How is your read-a-thon going and what are you currently reading? (Amd why is it so hard to type this on my iPad? That one is rhetorical).

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Day One: BookTube--A--Thon

Day one of this BookTube Read-A-Thon, that I feel like I am kind of cheating on or something as I'm not making videos, but - still, read-a-thon, it's fun. Anyway, my 'announcement' post can be found here, detailing the books I might read and such. And onto the day one stats and thoughts!

Number of books I've finished today: 3

Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (started and finished - 256 pages)
Snow White by Brothers Grimm, illustrated by Camille Rose Garcia (started and finished - 80 pages)
Throttle by Joe Hill and Stephen King (started and finished - 47 pages)
Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey (started - read to page 206)
Judgement in Death by J.D. Robb (started - read to page 52)

Number of pages read today: 641 pages

I ended up getting way more read then I thought with a doctors appointment, writing, and the new Teen Wolf. But I did go to the doctors appointment, write my 2k, and watch/cry over TW and read over 600 pages so, overall, good day!

I don't know how the rest of the week will go, but since I've been in a reading slump since the beginning of the month, this was fantastic. (Also, Ocean at the End of the Lane - so good, go and read it).

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Read-A-Thon? Read-A-Thon (BookTube style)

So I don't technically make videos (I did, no you can't find them anywhere. Though you may always run across me in friends vlogs). I really would love to be like 'but now is the right time to start again!' BUT considering the fact I'm about 85% sure that I currently have strep throat (which is what LeakyFlu evolved into for me, I've been feeling pretty sick since I got home, the flight was not fun all congested) I'm thinking video making with that would be not fun. If I'm feeling better at the end of the week, I might do my wrap-up in a video or something, but if not - right here.

I'm kind of a sucker for read-a-thons, honestly, I don't know why but they're just kind of fun and interacting with everyone about what they're reading. It's awesome. Anyway, this read-a-thon has certain challenges set forth for one to try and complete and they are:

  • read an average of 300 pages a day
  • read a book with over 500 pages
  • re-read one book
  • finish a series/trilogy
  • read a book that's been on your shelf forever
  • listen to an audiobook
  • read a classic
And a tad bonus one about seeing how many you could make into one. So, I have really no clue what I'm going to be reading (kind of forgot about this until a couple days ago and I had an 'oh crap!' moment).

Possible books (and what, if any, challenges they would fulfill):

  • Kushiel's Dart by Jacquiline Carey (Over 500 pages, so far, and a reread - maybe on this one)
  • The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan (finish a series one, been meaning to read this since it came out, have had it sense then).
  • Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis (I really need to get back into this series, I'm almost halfway there, pretty much. This fullfills the 'been on my shelf forever and ever' because I got copies of the Chronicles of Narnia in probably middle school and have yet to finish the series. Just recently started it).
  • The Drawing of Three by Stephen King (currently-reading)
  • Death's Daughter by Amber Benson (currently-reading)
  • A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin (currently-reading)
I'd really like to finish a book a day and complete that 300 pages a day thing, too, that would be super cool. However, I am also doing Camp NaNoWriMo, website here, and my goal is 150k (because I'm insane) but I'm at about 2k a day to finish on time and I think I can do that. Basically, this is the week I go insane. 

I don't know if I'll do an audiobook, I have a couple that are pretty short and I'm sure I could get them listened to over the course of the week. I guess I'll update everyday, the post will be the day after. So no post Monday, but the post on Tuesday will be Monday's stats. (As it was for my last read-a-thon). I did read 4k pages in the Bout of Books read-a-thon, so hopefully I can do this 300 pages a day. We shall see, I've been in a bit of a reading slump so this will either be the kick I need or I will just hopelessly stare at books.

Also, if you are participating leave your YouTube/blog/twitter/whatever you prefer in the comments so I can see your progress. Good luck, everyone, and have fun (and read)!

Monday, July 8, 2013

June Wrap-Up / July TBR

Sorry for this being so late. I had a convention at the end of the month and then I got sick, as you do when flying and are at conventions. And I'm still kind of sick, but at least you can't catch anything through the internet.

Books Finished:

  • Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman (5/5)
  • Amulet, Vol. 3: The Cloud Chasers by Kazu Kibuishi (5/5)
  • Make Good Art by Neil Gaiman (5/5)
  • Power Play (Kingdom Keepers #4) by Ridley Pearson (5/5)
  • Amulet, Vol 4: The Last Council by Kazu Kibuishi (5/5)
  • Amulet, Vol 5: The Prince of the Elves by Kazu Kibuishi (5/5)
  • Shell Game (Kingdom Keepers #5) by Ridley Pearson (5/5)
  • A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire #2) by George R.R. Martin (5/5)
  • Stardust by Neil Gaiman (5/5)
  • Dark Passage (Kingdom Keepers #6) by Ridley Pearson (5/5)
So I got a good amount of books read this month, kind of proud of myself. Especially getting A Clash of Kings read, whew is that book long. I'm currently just about halfway through A Storm of Swords, book three, but this one is even longer. They're really good, but not just long, they're all very heavy and hard to read in large doses.

July TBR:
I have no idea what I want to read yet this month. I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo, check it out here, and whenever I sign up, I just can't seem to not do it. Also, I've done every single one (last time I may have forgotten to actualy validate my words, but I promise that was a real word count). Anyway, back to the books, I want to participate in the Booktube read-a-thon, even though I don't make videos (but I want to! And people, as in friends, keeps telling me so, so I'll just have to start soon).

I mean, there are some I've started that I know I want/would like to finish. For example:

  • Death's Daughter by Amber Benson (saw and met her at LeakyCon, she is fantastic!)
  • The Drawing of Three (The Dark Tower #2) by Stephen King
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (haven't started, but got it the day it came out and still haven't read it!)
I'd also really like to finish A Storm of Swords, but I just don't know how realistic that is, book is long. What are you guys planning to read in July? And what did you read in June? (Any recommendations?  Not like I'm surrounded by books I should be reading, or anything).